Three Chinese nationals who each paid smugglers $35,000 were apprehended Tuesday after illegally crossing the southern border.
Fox News’ Bill Melugin was with Texas Department of Public Safety troopers when they witnessed the three Chinese nationals and a woman from Colombia cross illegally into Mission, Texas. The town lies near the southern tip of Texas, along the Rio Grande, and is a hotbed for illegal smuggling activity.
Texas DPS Trooper Lt. Chris Olivarez told Fox News the four individuals were brought across on a raft from Mexico.
Video shot by Fox News shows Border Patrol agents questioning the illegal migrants, who are visibly shivering in the cold. The migrants were later taken into custody and processed.
The Chinese nationals told troopers, through an interpreter, that they each paid the smuggler $35,000 to cross illegally into the U.S. Smugglers typically charge Chinese nationals at a higher rate.
"This is an example of how much money is involved with human smuggling and how it strengthens transnational criminal organizations who exploit the vulnerabilities from illegal immigrants and expose the open border policies imposed by the federal government," Olivarez said.
Olivarez told Fox News that encountering Chinese nationals crossing illegally between the ports of entry is a rare occurrence. Though migrants from Central and South America make up the majority of those encountered at the border, nationals from at least 170 countries arrived at the border last year.